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Sasol has slowed its spending on the Lake Charles Chemicals Project in Louisiana, US, as it is focusing on productivity and efficiencies in the ramp-up to first production later this year. But there is no change to the overall cost, timelines or scope of the project. After the unwelcome news to Sasol shareholders last year that the project was going to overrun its original cost projections by about US$4bn to come in at about $11.13bn, it has been progressing smoothly, despite last year’s devastating Hurricane Harvey in the region. Lake Charles was 81% complete at the end of December, with $8.8bn having been spent. The project will also gain from US tax reforms designed to promote investment in the US. Sasol CFO Paul Victor says about 24 pieces of tax legislation apply, which makes it very complex. But Sasol estimates it will gain about $500m or an additional 0.5% in the internal rate of return (IRR) over the life of the project as a result of the tax amendments. Joint president and ...

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